Embassy Row: Name droppers

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His warning to President Francois Bozize — a former military commander who grabbed power in a coup in 2003 — came three months after the United States failed to provide adequate protection to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where terrorists killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The State Department relied on local militias, instead of the Libyan military, to protect the consulate.

Mr. Ventrell said that U.S. Ambassador Laurence D. Wohlers suspended normal embassy operations and authorized non-emergency personnel and their families to leave the country immediately.

“We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the Central African Republic,” Mr. Ventrell said.

Rebels have taken 10 towns in the north of the country, sparking panic in the capital city of 600,000 in the southwest along the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Earlier this week, protesters in Bangui threw rocks at the French Embassy, accusing the former colonial power of failing to help the government fight the rebels.

Mr. Bozize on Thursday appealed for more help from France, which has 200 soldiers in the country to train the army.

France has the means to stop [the rebels], but unfortunately they have done nothing for us until now,” he told a crowd in the capital.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author
James Morrison

James Morrison

James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...

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